Monday, 31 August 2015

Static on the line?



Bank Holiday, it might be - but the "holiday mood" isn't exactly upon us. It's too wet and dire outside to do much more than sit in the house, half-heartedly doing chores...

Never mind, to cheer us up on this Tacky Music Monday, I have found a corker! Slightly up-beat for our usual weekly visit to the splendours of song'n'dance numbers, perhaps, but tacky it certainly is...

Here's Dolly's little sister Stella wearing her very best fright-wig and rictus smile, and Trouble on the Line (Emergency Mix):



It's quite something. Not sure what.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

It's more beautiful to live singing



As the Notting Hill Carnival - a true sign of the impending end of the Summer Season if ever there was one - gets underway, and the weather here has that typically grey "Bank Holiday Weekend look" about it, I think we should have a bit of jolly music to remind us what sunshine and partying is really all about.

Who better to provide it than someone I haven't featured in absolute ages - our Patron Saint of Salsa, Señorita Celia Cruz!



The lyrics of La Vida Es Un Carnaval translate as:

Everyone out there that thinks that life is unfair,
Needs to know that's not the case,
Because life is beautiful, you just have to live it.

Everyone out there that thinks they are alone and they are unhappy
Needs to know that's not the case,
Because in life no one is alone, there is always someone

Oh, there's no need to cry, because life is a carnival,
It's more beautiful to live singing.
Oh, there's no need to cry,
For life is a carnival
And your pains go away through song.


And you can't say fairer than that!

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur



Hils, Crog and I had a brilliant evening yesterday - a rather unexpected one; originally we were just meeting for drinkies in a bar in Clerkenwell - as we managed to land tickets for a fantabulosa show at our beloved Wilton's Music Hall.

Tricity Vogue's All Girl Swing Band - for it was they - are utterly fabulous entertainers, taking on a mix of old standards (including Five Foot Two (Has Anybody Seen My Gal?), Put The Blame On Mame, and Bear Necessities and I Wanna Be Like You from Jungle Book) some original material (Miss Vogue's paean to her Bowler Hat was fab) and quirky re-imaginings of crowd-pleasing "modern" numbers including Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Tainted Love, Should I Stay Or Should I Go? and the absolute show-stopper Parklife!



The band are sublime: horn section Becca Toft on trumpet, Emma Bassett on trombone and Yasmin Ogilvie on saxophone, Amy Baldwin on double bass, Sarah Bodalbhai on piano, Emily O'Hara on guitar and drummer Michele Drees (who gamely played up a storm despite being on crutches following a knee operation).





However, it's the combination of their charismatic leader Tricity Vogue and tap-dancer (and comic foil) Josephine Shaker that made them so very, very enjoyable. Whipping the audience up into a swinging, bopping frenzy - she even managed to get Crog up to dance as an "ice-breaker" before anyone else plucked up the courage to take to the floor - Miss Shaker was unstoppable throughout the entire show.

We loved it.

And here, unfortunately without the (very raucous) audience participation of last night at Wilton's, are the girls with their inimitable rendition of the Blur classic:



Confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur
Of what is known as
(Parklife!)
And morning soup can be avoided
If you take a route straight through what is known as
(Parklife!)

John's got brewers droop he gets intimidated
By the dirty pigeons, they love a bit of him
(Parklife!)
Who's that gut lord marching?
You should cut down on your pork-life, mate, get some exercise

All the people
So many people
They all go hand in hand
Hand in hand through their parklife
Know what I mean?

I get up when I want except on Wednesdays
When I get rudely awakened by the dustmen
(Parklife!)
I put my trousers on, have a cup of tea
And I think about leaving the house
(Parklife!)

I feed the pigeons I sometimes feed the sparrows too
It gives me a sense of enormous well-being
(Parklife!)
And then I'm happy for the rest of the day, safe in the knowledge
There will always be a bit of my heart devoted to it

All the people
So many people
And they all go hand in hand
Hand in hand through their parklife

Parklife
(Parklife!)
Parklife
(Parklife!)

It's got nothing to do with
Vorsprung durch technik you know
(Parklife!)
And it's not about you joggers
Who go round and round and round
(Parklife!)

All the people
So many people
And they all go hand in hand
Hand in hand through their parklife

All the people
So many people
And they all go hand in hand
Hand in hand through their parklife


Indeed.

Tricity Vogue's All Girl Swing Band

Witon's Music Hall

Friday, 28 August 2015

I'm a sensation



As The Guinness Book of Records celebrates its 60th birthday this week, and as the long Bank Holiday weekend (our last till the Festering Season) is looming, I thought I'd delve into its vaults to get our traditional party started...

According to that veritable bible of World Records, the best-selling disco single ever is Baccara's Yes Sir I Can Boogie, with 18 million copies sold.

So here - as if I needed any excuse to play a long-time Dolores Delargo Towers favourite - is that record-breaking classic, for your delectation:



All together, now!

Mister
Your eyes are full of hesitation
Sure makes me wonder
If you know what you're looking for

Baby
I wanna keep my reputation
I'm a sensation
You try me once, you'll beg for more

Oh, yes sir, I can boogie
But a I need a certain song
I can boogie, boogie-boogie
All night long

And yes sir, I can boogie
If you stay, you can't go wrong
I can boogie, boogie-boogie
All night long

No sir
I don't feel very much like talking
No, neither walking
You wanna know if I can dance

Yes sir
Already told you in the first verse
And in the chorus
But I will give you one more chance

Oh, yes sir, I can boogie
But a need a certain song
I can boogie, boogie-boogie
All night long


Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a good one...

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Indochine groove



This most frustrating of weeks in the office is dragging... I am in need of a little lightness.

How about a slice of Soft Tempo Lounge? Our Man in Indochine is on the case!



Ah, that's better.

[Music: 'Night Walk' by the John Fox Orchestra]

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

She is shaking her umbrella



While waiting for this miserable weather to clear, it's time for another timeslip moment...

Back we hurtle to this week twenty-five years ago - an era when the "Iron Curtain" was rusting across Europe (with the forthcoming union of East and West Germany, and liberty for Armenia and Bulgaria just the latest in the news), war in the Persian Gulf was looming, Apartheid in South Africa was being dismantled, BBC Radio 5 was launched, the first series of Stars in Their Eyes was won by Maxine Barrie performing as Shirley Bassey, Darkman, Ghost and Wild at Heart were in the cinemas - and a largely overlooked folk singer from Greenwich Village had a completly unexpected dance hit, her biggest-selling of her career...

Here's Miss Suzanne Vega (for it is she), remixed by two DJs from the beautiful English town of Bath under the name "DNA", and Tom's Diner:



I am sitting
In the morning
At the diner
On the corner

I am waiting
At the counter
For the man
To pour the coffee

And he fills it
Only halfway
And before
I even argue

He is looking
Out the window
At somebody
Coming in

"It is always
Nice to see you"
Says the man
Behind the counter

To the woman
Who has come in
She is shaking
Her umbrella

And I look
The other way
As they are kissing
Their hellos

I'm pretending
Not to see them
Instead
I pour the milk

I open
Up the paper
There's a story
Of an actor

Who had died
While he was drinking
It was no one
I had heard of

And I'm turning
To the horoscope
And looking
For the funnies

When I'm feeling
Someone watching me
And so
I raise my head

There's a woman
On the outside
Looking inside
Does she see me?

No she does not
Really see me
Cause she sees
Her own reflection

And I'm trying
Not to notice
That she's hitching
Up her skirt

And while she's
Straightening her stockings
Her hair
Has gotten wet

Oh, this rain
It will continue
Through the morning
As I'm listening

To the bells
Of the cathedral
I am thinking
Of your voice...

And of the midnight picnic
Once upon a time
Before the rain began...

I finish up my coffee
It's time to catch the train


Either one of the most contagious, or the most annoying, songs ever, depending on where you stand...

Suzanne Vega on Wikipedia

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Monday, 24 August 2015

The top of the heap



Back to work time once more - and, following Saturday's prediction, it is indeed raining again...

Hey ho, on this Tacky Music Monday, here's the one and only Miss Liza Minnelli (Patron Saint of Pizzazz) to cheer us up (as she always does!).

She's The Life of the Party!



Have a good week, chums.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

I will have wet eyes



Many happy return today to Vassiliki, Baroness von Ruffin - better known to Eurovision Song Contest fans as Miss Vicky Leandros, winner of the contest (for Luxembourg) way back in 1972.

She remains a bit of a "one hit wonder" here in the UK, despite continued success across Europe. However, that hit is still a favourite 'round these parts - it's Après Toi:



In English: "...after you
I will not be able to live any more, to live no more
That in remembering you
After you,
I will have wet eyes
The empty hands, the heart without joy.
With you,
I had learned how to laugh
And my laughter comes only by you.
After you, I will be only a shadow
Of your shadow.
After you..."


I think it's probably best in French.

Vicky Leandros (born Vassiliki Papathanasiou, 23 August 1949 (or 1952, or 1948, depending where you look))

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Warm front up the bottom



It is a "British obsession", the weather. The clichés are all true...

However, that is somewhat understandable when one gets a "summer" like we are having. After a cold, damp spring that killed some of our lilies (they previously gave us five foot tall stems covered in trumpets) and provided excellent breeding conditions for slugs, and winds throughout May, June and July that were on occasions so chilly that we almost contemplated putting the heating on, we have had a couple of glimpses of what we've been missing (in Spain, and across the pond in the US, heatwaves of unprecedented fierceness have hit while we sat looking at mildew) - notably here and here. But each hot spell fizzled out after a day or two and skies here have more often then not been a fetching shade of "Battleship Grey"...

Today looks like it will be one of those intermittent hot ones. I'm going shopping in tropical West London, so I dare say we'll find a beer garden or two to enjoy it in. Apparently the thermometers are going to touch 30C in London, thanks to a "Spanish Plume", whatever that may be.

"Spanish" and "plume"? We know a song about that!

It's that eternal house fave here at Dolores Delargo Towers, Los Morancos and Pluma Pluma Gay! Of course:



The weather: a very British obsession

Friday, 21 August 2015

You perfume the air



Lordy. Switzerland's greatest export after chocolate, dodgy banking and cuckoo clocks Monsieur Patrick Juvet is 65 years old today! With his wonderfully flicked "Charlie's Angels" hairdo and his tight trousers, M Juvet conquered the world at the end of the 70s with his mega-hit I Love America, and posters of his visage adorned many a teenage girl's bedroom wall. Then, just as quickly, he disappeared (helped, no doubt, by the fact that everything he did subsequently just sounded soooo similar).

However, to celebrate the imminent arrival of what may well be a sunny weekend, here is the man himself - in this clip (badly out of sync) he's in the kind of groin-hugging outfit that would grace any fashionable Disco stud's wardrobe at the time, no doubt. But here, he's all wrapped up for winter...

Either way, it's Lady Night!



It's so good to see you when you're back on the scene
I look for you all day, you know what I mean.
But when the sun goes down
From this moment you always come around
You perfume the air,
Your black dress is always there.

Oh my lady lady lady lady lady night
Oh my lady lady lady lady lady night
Oh my lady lady lady lady lady night
Oh my lady lady lady lady lady night
Lady night


...they just don't write lyrics like that any more.

Thank Disco It's Friday! Have a leather-trousered time this weekend, mes chéris...

Patrick Juvet (born 21st August 1950)

Thursday, 20 August 2015

By the sea-side, beside the sea

















From the BBC:
Graffiti artist Banksy has announced an exhibition at a derelict seafront lido in Weston-super-Mare.

The Dismaland show - which will also feature work from Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer and Jimmy Cauty - will take over the Tropicana site for five weeks.

Banksy described the show as a "family theme park unsuitable for children".
Sounds perfect to me!

Dismaland Bemusement Park – a festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism is open from 22nd August – 27th September 2015.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

My mouth can't hide what's deep down inside



Timeslip moment again...

Our DeLorean has crashed to earth this week twenty years ago - when excitement was mounting about the imminent release of Windows 95, Croatia was celebrating its victory in the war of independence from the former Yugoslavia, ill-fated cable channel L!VE TV (with its infamous "News Bunny", "Topless Darts" and "Lunchbox Volleyball") was launched, the tabloids went crazy over the supposed "battle of the bands" between Oasis and Blur with their competing singles released on the same day, Babe, Waterworld and Mortal Kombat were on our cinema screens, and this faboo dance number was the highest new entry in the UK charts!

Wouldn't it be lovely to be in '90s Ibiza (or any Spanish resort, at any time, given our miserable summer this year) with The Original and I Luv U Baby?



I smell dry ice...

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The Linchpin of the gay scene - but for how long?





Following the recent unceremonious closures of such iconic London gay pubs and venues as The Black Cap, the Man Bar, Madam Jojo’s, the Green Carnation, Barcode and the Joiner's Arms, the battle is heating up to save possibly the most important of them all...

From The Guardian:
The threat of closure hangs over London’s oldest gay venue, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, after its purchase by Austrian property developers.

What is about this spit-and-sawdust LGBTQ south London pub that regulars love so much? Performers including Amy Lamé, Timberlina and Bette Bourne show us behind the scenes at the capital’s home of drag:


Facts:
  • The RVT was built in 1863 on land which was originally part of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, and started life as a Music Hall; its metal columns are believed to have been salvaged from the original colonnades in the Gardens.
  • Once at the apex of two rows of terraced houses, in the 1970s the Tavern was left standing alone when almost all of the other 1860s buildings were torn down; since then it has survived one attempt to turn it into a backpackers’ hostel and another to demolish it to make way for a shopping centre (including water park and ‘snow dome’).
  • The Tavern was once the site of a riot sparked by a police raid (wearing rubber gloves in case they "caught AIDS") while Lily Savage was performing in 1984; she and ten others were arrested in the chaos.
  • Princess Diana, disguised as a man, allegedly once visited the RVT in the 1980s with Freddie Mercury, Kenny Everett and Cleo Rocos.

Diana Dors with The Trollettes at the RVT

Alongside fellow campaigners Paul O'Grady (the former Lily Savage, who describes it as “the Royal Vauxhall Tavern School of Dramatic Art” and “my spiritual home”), Sir Ian "Serena" McKellen, and director of Pride (which was filmed in part there) Stephen Beresford, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
"The Royal Vauxhall Tavern has been a linchpin at the heart of London’s LGBT community for more than six decades. [In June 2015] New York gave the Stonewall Inn landmark status, recognising its place in that city’s history.

“The RVT’s unique contribution to the vibrancy of London life should also be celebrated. It is a beacon that is known around the world and must be made a listed building so it can continue to shine for years to come.”
And here are just three of the many drag acts who made it "shine" - Lily Savage, Sandra Hush and David Dale on stage at the RVT back in the 1980s:



I urge everyone to lend their support to the campaign to save this historic gay venue!

Monday, 17 August 2015

And somewhere a bird, who is bound she'll be heard



As I struggle manfully to get woken up, shaken down and out of the house to go back to the office after a hectic week off (the "wedding of the year" in Plymouth Wednesday, a flying visit to the boys in Essex on the weekend), I still find time to raise a glass of poitin to a real Hollywood survivor - Miss Maureen O'Hara, 95 years old today.

A woman who crossed swords with movie moguls (Walt Disney called her "that bitch"), and traded kisses - and punches - with such superstars as John Wayne (who said: "She's a great guy. I've had many friends, and I prefer the company of men. Except for Maureen O'Hara.") and Tyrone Power, Miss O'Hara remains probably the most successful of exports from The Emerald Isle this side of Guinness.

Asked about her career, she recently said: "I've always been a tough Irish lass. I proved there was a bloody good actress in me. It wasn't just my face. I gave bloody good performances."

And you can't say fairer than that!

On this Tacky Music Monday, however, it's not her acting but her singing to which we turn - and, to cheer us all up, here she is (in an unfortunately out-of-sync recording) on an old episode of Andy Williams' TV show. It's a Grand Night for Singing, to be sure!



Maureen O'Hara (born Maureen FitzSimons, 17th August 1920)

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Bitch, I'm...



Many happy returns, Our Glorious Leader - from me, and, er... Cher!



Charlie Hides TV. Of course.

Madonna Louise Ciccone (born 16th August 1958)

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Braying, obnoxious arsewits


Britain's public houses will be functionally unbearable by 2018, it has been revealed.

Amid plans to ban smoking in the same postcode as pubs, many patrons have admitted defeat and vowed to convert their children’s bedroom into a boisterous tavern.

Drinker Wayne Hayes said: “I can’t smoke in my local boozer and thanks to aggressive taxation and the rise of ‘craft beer’ I can’t drink there any more, either. The kids can go to bed at midnight after I’ve called last orders and cleaned the ashtrays.

“It’s like I’ve been very, very slowly barred from my pub by the process of making it even more unbearable than spending the night at home.”


Calls for the ban came after a woman in Carlisle caught the faint, delicious whiff of a Marlboro Light whilst devouring a roast dinner in a beer garden last Sunday.

Nikki Hollis, a nightmare, said: “If you don’t mind, I’m trying to eat a 2,000-calorie meal the size of a Somalian while washing it down with enough Pinot Grigio to float a canoe. These wisps of smoke could kill me.”

Hayes added: “I assume pubs will still be allowed to fill their beer gardens with braying, obnoxious arsewits?”
The Daily Mash.

Of course.

It's getting unbearable, living in a Puritanical Nanny State.

Things weren't like that back in the dance band era! Over to you, Mr Jack Payne (with vocal assistance from Bob Busby and Bob Manning):





Now, pass me a Pall Mall...

Friday, 14 August 2015

I won't work for nobody but you



Phew! We're back, safe from the Wild, Wild West - and to celebrate that fact (in our normal way to mark the passing of another week; and what a week...), let's clad ourselves in the most outrageous shocking pink "pimp" outfits, and get on down with tomorrow's birthday boy Billy Griffin (he's 65, you know) and his incarnation of The Miracles...

They're such Love Machines:



Thank Disco It's Friday!

Oh, yeah
I'm just a love machine and I won't work for nobody but you
Yeah, baby, I'm just a love machine
A hugging kissing fiend

I think it's high time you knew
Whenever I think of you
My mind blows a fuse
When I look in your eyes
My meter starts to rise
And I become confused
My motor cranked electric goes
When I'm sitting next to you
Electricity starts to flow
And my indicator starts to glow

I, I, I'm just a love machine and I won't work for nobody but you
I'm just a love machine, yeah, baby
A hugging kissing fiend
La-La la la la-La la la la-La la
La la la la la-La la la-La laaaaaaaaa
I, I, I'm just a love machine and I won't work for nobody but you
I'm just a love machine, yeah, baby
A hugging kissing fiend

I'm gentle as a lamb
I'm not that hard to program
There's no way that you can lose
Chassis fits like a glove
I've got a button for love
That you've got to use (push it, push it baby)
If you look into my power
I am sure you can find out how
To turn me on just set my dial
And let me love you for a little while, ooooooh

I, I, I'm just a love machine and I won't work for nobody but you
I'm just a love machine, yeah, baby
A hugging kissing fiend
La-La la la la-La la la la-La la
La la la la la-La la la-La laaaaaaaaa
Push it push it baby, aaaaaah


Subtle.

Have a great weekend, darlings...

William L. "Billy" Griffin (born 15th August 1950).

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

You'll simply never understand the true nature of sacrifice



"Come. It is time to keep your appointment with the Wicker Man."

Think of me, sweeties, as we travel cross-country 238 miles to the Wild, Wild West for the wedding of Madam Arcati's mercurial nephew today.

Plymouth is about as far as one can go in England. It's only Cornwall between there and Cape Cod.

The Talking Heads just about sum it up:



"Normal" service will be resumed at some stage on Thursday, or maybe Friday if the whole - ahem - ceremony takes longer than we expect. Or if nobody has a lighter that works...

Monday, 10 August 2015

Swan Song









RIP Jonathan Ollivier (1977 - 9th August 2015), principal dancer in Matthew Bourne's ballet company, who sadly died in a road accident hours before his final appearance as "The Swan" in Swan Lake.

I'll make you so proud of me


Bottoms up!

Such celebrations. On this day were born such unlikely bed-fellows as Norma Shearer, Alexander Glazunov, Rosanna Arquette, Martha Hyer, Herbert Hoover, Jack Haley ("the Tin Man" in The Wizard of Oz), sex god Antonio Banderas, Rhonda Fleming, Patti Austin, Baroness Butler-Sloss, former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio, Eddie Fisher, Justin Theroux, the much-missed Kate O'Mara...and ME!

Also sharing our birthday is Miss Ronnie Spector. However, this being a Tacky Music Monday, I thought it somewhat appropriate to let our Patron Saint Miss Bette Midler take the stand (at the Royal Variety Performance 2014) to sing Miss Spector's most famous hit from her Ronettes days - Be My Baby:



Champagne all round, I'd say...

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Long and hot would be nice



My week's leave has started excellently, I would say - yesterday Hils, History Boy and I went on a guided tour around London's historic Charter House, followed by a not-so-guided tour of the pubs of Clerkenwell. Today, the sun is blazing, and the forecast for my birthday tomorrow is also excellent.

The sheer novelty of a hot day in the UK always brings back happy memories of the long, hot summer of 1976 - so, here, for your delectation is one of the greatest hits of that memorable year...

Entering the UK chart this very week thirty-nine years ago, here's Mr Bryan Ferry (not even breaking into a sweat, even in searing temperatures - ably assisted in the video by his then-girlfriend, the pouting Jerry Hall) and The Price Of Love:



I could do with an ice cold cocktail now... Or maybe a Mivvi!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Man she did a dip, almost broke my hip



I know we all said our usual mantra "Thank Disco It's Friday" yesterday - but when I found out that today would have been the 80th birthday of Mr Joe Tex, I couldn't resist playing this catchy little blast from the past...

He Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman). Apparently. But watch out, Tex - here she comes!



Joe Tex (born Joseph Arrington Jr, 8th August 1935– 13th August 1982)

Friday, 7 August 2015

As long as the sun continues to shine



This has been a particularly slow and arduous week in work. I was beginning to think today would never arrive!

Now, the weekend is finally looming, and there's even more cause for celebration than usual - I am off all next week to celebrate my birthday (as well as traversing the country to go to a family wedding, but least said about that the better)! To get us into a very special party mood indeed, here's the magnificent Miss Ross with her joyful "comeback" hit, entering the UK charts this week thirty years ago - she and I are Upside Down...

Thank Disco It's Friday!


Upside down
Boy, you turn me
Inside out
And 'round and 'round

I know you got charm and appeal
You always play the field
I'm crazy to think you're all mine
As long as the sun continues to shine
There's a place in my heart for you
That's the bottom line

Upside down
Boy, you turn me
Inside out
And 'round and 'round

Upside down
Boy, you turn me
Inside out
And 'round and 'round

Instinctively you give to me
The love that I need
I cherish the moments with you
Respectfully I say to thee
I'm aware that you're cheatin'
But no one makes me feel like you do

Upside down
Boy, you turn me
Inside out
And 'round and 'round

Upside down you're turning me
You're giving love instinctively
'Round and 'round you're turning me
I see to thee respectfully


Come join the party, dear reader...

Thursday, 6 August 2015

The world is your lobster



Back in June, I used the phrase "dropping like flies" to refer to the apparent fact so many stalwarts of British artistic and cultural repute had died this year. Since then we have lost a few more "national treasures"...

Another one went yesterday: Mr George Cole, a major screen presence for over 60 years - both big (he was famous as “Flash Harry” in the St Trinian's films) and small. For fifteen years, he held sway over the prime-time television schedules here in the UK as Arthur ("Arfur") Daley, the ne'er-do-well spiv and conman of the Minder series.



Facts:
  • At the age of 14, he "ran away" to join a theatre company, but the tour was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War.
  • He was in all but name "adopted" by the comedy actor Alistair Sim and his wife, and it was through this association that he began to get roles in films - not least A Christmas Carol and four St Trinian’s films: The Belles of..., Blue Murder at..., The Pure Hell of..., and The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery; he even had a part in Cleopatra opposite the Taylor-Burtons.
  • Mr Cole had a number of successful series on TV as as well as on radio during the 60s and 70s, but it was Minder, with sidekick Dennis Waterman, that made him a household name - at its peak the show attracted an audience of more than 16 million.
So popular was George's portrayal of "Arfur", many of his catchphrases have entered the British psyche - "'Er indoors","A nice little earner", et al. Read The world is your lobster: Arthur Daley's guide to life for an understanding of why the loveable rogue was so popular.

As "the man" himself once said: "...at times I might have been a bit inconsiderate. But you know what the pressures on the entrepreneur are, in this day and age. I hope you have enjoyed our long association, as much as I have, despite the vicississitu... vicississi... ups and downs. Good luck. Your pal, Arthur."

RIP George Edward Cole (22nd April 1925 - 5th August 2015)

Trying to forget



Another week, another Tube strike. It's miserable weather out there, too, just to add to the mood.

Knowing what the transport chaos was like last time this happened, I expect I'll end up heading to work on foot. To "gee me along", here's a baffling interpretation of an appropriate song.

Why are there three pianists? Why are they wearing flower pots on their head? Questions, questions...

I'm Walkimg in the Rain:



Just walking in the rain
Getting soaking wet
Torturing my heart
By trying to forget


Bizarre.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Someday we'll find it; the rainbow connection



From Dangerous Minds:
This cookie cutter is, ostensibly, used to make cookies that look like a rainbow bursting forth from a cloud and landing in a pot o’ gold. We guess...

...according to Kimberly Wolfe, one of the proprietors of {manufacturer] TheFussyPup: "[Someone] pointed out its resemblance to the male organ. We had a little giggle and dismissed the thought. While making adult theme cookie cutters isn’t our main goal, we are happy to provide cookie cutters for any occasion - and we love to see the creativity of our customers! Now if only someone would send me a picture of the results!"

That sounds like a challenge.
Indeed it does.

Why not order yours from Amazon today, and enter the Great British Bake Off?

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

So smile for a while and let's be jolly



Amid the national mourning following Cilla's death, the loss of another familiar entertainment figure from our youth has passed almost unnoticed - Miss Lynn Anderson, she of the biggest hair this side of Priscilla Presley and, unfortunately for her, a one-hit-wonder.

But what a memorable hit! Here she is, singing Rose Garden on Top of the Pops way back in 1971:



All together, now...

I beg your pardon,
I never promised you a rose garden.
Along with the sunshine,
There's gotta be a little rain sometimes.
When you take, you gotta give, so live and let live,
Or let go.
I beg your pardon,
I never promised you a rose garden.

I could promise you things like big diamond rings,
But you don't find roses growin' on stalks of clover.
So you better think it over.
Well, if sweet-talkin' you could make it come true,
I would give you the world right now on a silver platter,
But what would it matter?
So smile for a while and let's be jolly:
Love shouldn't be so melancholy.
Come along and share the good times while we can.

I beg your pardon,
I never promised you a rose garden.
Along with the sunshine,
There's gotta be a little rain sometimes.
I beg your pardon,
I never promised you a rose garden.

I could sing you a tune or promise you the moon,
But if that's what it takes to hold you,
I'd just as soon let you go, but there's one thing I want you to know.
You better look before you leap, still waters run deep,
And there won't always be someone there to pull you out,
And you know what I'm talkin' about.
So smile for a while and let's be jolly:
Love shouldn't be so melancholy.
Come along and share the good times while we can.

I beg your pardon,
I never promised you a rose garden.
Along with the sunshine,
There's gotta be a little rain sometimes.


Forty-four years later, I can still sing every word. And I was only seven when this came out...

RIP Lynn Rene Anderson (26th September 1947 – 30th July 2015)

This sporting life


Gratuitous photo of Cristiano Ronaldo being stretched. Or something.
Sport is an entirely negative influence on humanity, it has been confirmed.

Following the latest doping scandal in athletics, experts believe it is past time that everyone stopped doing sport.

Professor Henry Brubaker of the Institute for Studies said: “Sport might seem exciting when shown in a jazzy montage on a television advert for a soft drink, but in reality it is very dull.

“Quite apart from everybody injecting themselves with monkey glands, nobody likes athletics. It’s like amateur dramatics in that the participants quite enjoy it while the audience is thinking about what they’re going to have for tea.

“Footballers are just a bunch of overpaid knobhead philanderers with weirdly geometric hair transplants, while the fans are inexplicably angry with each other because of geographical differences.

“Cycling is weird and essentially for people who are too boring even to be Christians.

“Cricket is just cricket, no further explanation needed, it’s shit.

“I think darts and snooker are okay, let’s keep them and board games.”
The Daily Mash.

Of course.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Birthday Queen



Happy birthday to my (real) sister Hils...

Here's a little choon of which I know she is fond. And so are we!

It's the effervescent DelaDap and their Georgian Lesson 1-6. Pay attention, now - there will be a test afterwards...



Trombetista
Harmonika
Tuba
Kontrabacho
Guitarra
Trombone
La Voice

Dancing is a luxury
A pleasure to waste time
An excess of emotions without rules
A fantastic Tra-la-la without meaning and practical use
Now, everybody let´s dance!

Lession 1: Enjoy the rhythm
Lession 2: Clap your hands energetic to the rhythm
Lession 3: Jump in the air

Lession 4: Shake your feet to the beat
Lession 5: Shout "Hop!"
Lession 6: Let`s sing together...


Indeed.

Our favourite jailbird



After a fantabulosa weekend - our "Grand Picnic" on Saturday, and (at last) a beautiful sunny Sunday in the garden, it comes as a bit of a shock to the system to have to get up and get ready for yet another week in work...

¡Oh bueno, no importa! It was the birthday yesterday of our favourite Spanish Patron Saint, Senora Isabel Pantoja (currently halfway through a two-year prison sentence for assisting her boyfriend - the former Mayor of Marbella - in a money-laundering scandal) - so, on this Tacky Music Monday, it is only right that we should feature the "Queen of Copla" herself and Cuna Cañí:



Tener una buena semana, amigos...

Sunday, 2 August 2015

A true "national treasure" departs

















RIP Cilla Black, probably Britain's best-loved all-round entertainer.

Very sad news indeed - the flags are at half-mast here at Dolores Delargo Towers.

Here are some of her most memorable moments...

Anyone Who Had a Heart:



You're My World:



Step Inside Love:



With Miss Dusty Springfield back in the 1990s - Heart and Soul:



Winning the BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014:



And, finally - that Royal Variety Show performance with Lily Savage and Barbara Windsor:



Cheers, chuck! It was a "lorra, lorra laughs".

Priscilla Maria Veronica White (27th May 1943 – 2nd August 2015)